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Natalie Mellor

FdSc Applied Microbiology

Progression Pathway: Wade Deacon High School, Widnes, Level 3 BTEC Extended Diploma in Applied Science (St Helens College), FdSc Applied Microbiology

“I am really glad I came to University Centre St Helens. The amount of support you receive here is absolutely fantastic and is often provided on a one to one basis. The lecturing team don’t have hundreds of students to consider, so they provide invaluable and unrivalled support whenever you need it. If you show you want to do well and are committed, they will make sure you do and will go out of their way to help you get the results you deserve."

Former Wade Deacon student, Natalie, began her journey on the level 3 BTEC Extended Diploma at St Helens College. Two years later, achieving D*D*D*, the highest result in the class, Natalie progressed on to the Foundation Degree in Applied Microbiology at University Centre St Helens.

Offering a mixture of classroom and lab-based practical sessions, Natalie enjoyed how varied the modules were and said, "I was really surprised by how much I enjoyed the classroom-based sessions. The parasitology module was of particular interest to me, where we looked in depth at disease with animals. It was fascinating and the module structure on the degree provides students with the opportunity to focus on what they are most interested in and what they enjoy."

Natalie added, "The degree structure was perfect for me, for instance the classroom-based theory sessions at a larger university would be in a lecture theatre with hundreds of other people, all studying on a wide range of degrees. However, at University Centre St Helens, the class had eleven students, all studying Applied Microbiology, which made me feel at ease."

Speaking about the lecturing team, Natalie said, "They are all brilliant! Paul, the Programme Leader is great. I really like his teaching style and if you don't understand, he is very accommodating. He really is very, very good, going out of his way to help his students. I will be forever grateful for all of the help and support he provided."

Since graduating from the FdSc in Applied Microbiology, Natalie completed her top-up BSc in Microbiology at Chester Medical School in 2019 and has now completed an MA in Cellular Pathology at Manchester Metropolitan University.

Speaking about her time at University Centre St Helens, Natalie said, " The support I received from the lecturers and the close-knit community of the student allowed me to step out of my comfort zone and push myself to advance to my master's degree. I am confident that I will achieve my dream of becoming a Biomedical Scientist, which all began on the FdSc at University Centre St Helens."